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6 Beloved Bedtime Story Books

March 24, 2017

Six bedtime books for sleepy tykes

Sleepy parents everywhere; have pondered whether might be there; a book that once read will keep; their tykes abed and fast asleep… Don’t worry, we won’t be rhyming throughout this whole blog. Mostly because we’re parents ourselves and we haven’t found this… yawn! ...mythical book yet either. But if you’ve ever settled down to read your kids a bedtime story and thought, “Brothers Grimm, yeah, that’s a classic…” you probably deserve the nightmares and bedwetting. Seriously, finding good children’s bedtime books is a task for the wide-awake. We thought we’d lend a hand with a few classic suggestions.

1. Where the Wild Things Are ~ Maurice Sendak

Top of the list has got to be Where the Wild Things Are. In this 1963 classic, young Max, fully kitted in his wolf costume, terrorizes his household and is banished to his room without supper for his trouble. But his room undergoes a rainforest transformation and he finds himself on the island of the Wild Things instead. A timeless flight of fancy which will appeal to every imaginative child.

2. Goodnight Moon ~ Margaret Wise Brown

Another timeless classic, Goodnight Moon is made of simpler stuff. This rhyming record of a bunny’s night-time ritual of bidding everything in the bedroom a “good night” is simple, sweet and soothing. Published in 1947, it is hailed as one of the great picture books of the age.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar ~ Eric Carle

A fun and colorful introduction to numbers and science (entomology, obviously). This 1969 story follows a little, red faced caterpillar who happily chomps his way through ever-increasing volumes of fruit before the inevitable stomachache drives him to pupate.

4. Zen Shorts ~ Jon J. Muth

Now for something a little new-age. Well, 2005 anyway. Addy, Karl and Michael have a new neighbour. A panda named Stillwater. Over the course of the next three days, Stillwater relates simple life lessons (rooted in Buddhism) which invite the children to see the world through different eyes. A gentle introduction to the concepts of good versus bad, the value of material things and the role of frustration in life.

5. The Paper Bag Princess ~ Robert Munsch

In a shocking display of what they termed “feminism” in 1980 (but which is just damned good sense today) Princes Elizabeth sets out to rescue her prince from a dragon. But when an ungrateful Prince Ronald critiques her severely diminished (by dragon-fire) wardrobe, she fires him too and goes in search of her own happiness.

6. Goodnight Already! ~ Jory John

With hilarious illustrations by Benji Davies, Goodnight Already! echoes the sentiments of many bedtime story-bound parents. Poor Bear longs to do nothing but sleep. Unfortunately his neighbour, Duck, is a devout insomniac and a fount of good ideas as to what the two of them should do instead of sleep.

These are, of course, only the tip of a very large (and very colorful) iceberg and advanced readers might include more complex works like Roald Dahl’s The BFG or even J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. The most important thing when choosing a bedtime story is to choose something you, the parent, can enjoy too. For one thing, a bedtime story should be a shared experience. For another, you’ll be more likely to do the voices (to the entertainment of your partner and pets).

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